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Private Tutoring or Group Tutoring

When seeking academic support from a tutor, you may be faced with a choice between private tutoring or group tutoring. This video discusses the advantages and disadvantages of both models.


Good morning! This is Jason Ursino and I’m driving to school.

Today I’m going to be talking about the difference between, or the pros and cons between private tutoring or group sessions.

Now, first of all no tutoring really works unless you have a good tutor and I have already put a video together on how to pick a good tutor, “The Three Things to Think About When You Pick a Tutor”, you can go to for my other videos and you’ll find that video there.

Well, let’s look at the pros and cons.

First of all, private tutoring. Private tutoring is probably really good to home in on particular concepts to have that special attention. Especially, it works really well for students who come in with questions already, ready to go. If they’re more of an intrinsic motivation sort of student, where they do a lot of work at home and then they’re able to come in with the tutor and ready to ask a bunch of questions that will take the whole time. It’s probably the best for students that are like that.

Group sessions are more for students who want to definitely improve, however, they don’t exactly know what to do or where to go. Group sessions also work well when you first come in for tutoring. The tutor will work with the individual student, work with them and then give them some questions, this is particularly for maths, and then what will happen is this tutor will walk away. Now that’s a powerful little technique because the student will make all the mistakes that they would in an exam and then when the tutor comes back, their mistakes will be corrected. Rather than looking over the shoulder of the student and saying, “stop there, that’s wrong”, “stop there, that’s wrong”. It’s more effective if the student does the entire thing, makes all the mistakes that they would and then be corrected. We find that it is a little bit more powerful than being stopped in the tracks when they’re making a mistake. So group sessions work really well for things like that. So when you first have a session with the tutor the group session is probably more recommended because the tutor would sort of be diagnosing exactly where the problem is, looking for foundation issues, and that usually entails the student to do a couple of questions on their own. So the group sessions work really well with that. Now, if there is a student who comes in for a private session and I do not know exactly what their maths is like, for the first couple of lessons it is about getting to know their maths. A lot of the private session is, “have a go at this, now, have a go at that” and you sort of even have to walk out of the room so the student does not ask, “is this right? Is this right?” Because you want the student to make the mistakes.

So group sessions and private sessions have their pros and cons.

I guess the cons for the private session is that it's expensive, sometimes it's not very economical because, as I said, if you have a teacher that sits down then has to walk out of the room for the student to make the mistakes, you’re paying for the private session for that time. However, there are situations where the cons of the group session is when you have a student that does need to ask those questions and then they sort of have to wait for when the tutor is available. However, it's a lot more economical. Usually group sessions are a lot cheaper than private sessions.

So the best thing to do, I guess, is to go somewhere where they offer both private and group sessions. My recommendation will be to do group sessions to get into a program of study, do the group sessions each week and that will get them into a rhythm or habit of study. Then have the option of private sessions there, so if there’s an exam that comes up or a topic that they have trouble with, then you can book a private session whenever you need it. It's probably the best model and it's the model that we do at Learning Space.

If you like my videos you can go to and have a good day!

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